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Kim Dotcom: I just want to go home

Published: 10:35AM Wednesday February 22, 2012 Source: ONE News

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom says all he wants to do is go home to his family after being granted bail today.

Dotcom appealed a decision to deny him bail in the North Shore District Court today.

In his judgement, Judge Nevin Dawson concluded Dotcom was not enough of a flight risk to keep him in custody, and bailed him to his $4.3 million Coatesville property which adjoins the larger mansion where he was arrested last month.

"A suspicion that because Mr Dotcom is very wealthy means that he must have assets he has not revealed is not evidence of further assets and cannot now be used against him," Nawson said.

Dawson said Dotcom has every reason to stay in the country and fight for his family's future and getting his assets back.

"The factors against him being a flight risk include that he would live his life as a fugitive, he would be abandoning his expectant wife and three children and he would effectively lose all the
considerable assets and bank accounts in a number of countries that have been seized."

Dotcom told media outside the court he was relieved to go home to see his pregnant wife and three young children.

"I just want to go home," he said.

"It has been a month so I'm really happy to see my family again today."

Asked how he felt about how the police have treated him, he said: "It felt a little bit like an audition to American Idol."

As part of his bail conditions, Dotcom will be fitted with an electronic bracelet and is not allowed to use the internet or travel more than 80 kilometres from the property.

The German national faces extradition to the United States for his role in megaupload.com, which US Federal prosecutors say has cost copyright holders more than $620 million in revenue lost
through pirated material.

Dotcom had been remanded in custody after a bail hearing earlier this month.

Judge David McNaughton had formerly said the risk of Dotcom fleeing the country, even if he was required to report to police regularly, have his computers confiscated and have his movements monitored electronically, was too great.

Dotcom and three others were arrested in January after police raided his rented mansion in Coatesville, Auckland, at the request of the FBI. Police cut Dotcom out of a safe room he had barricaded himself in.

Mathias Ortmann, Bran van der Kolk and Finn Batato, who were also arrested, have already been granted bail.

More charges of copyright infringement and fraud were brought against Dotcom and several of his associates by US authorities on Saturday.

Dotcom was originally charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering, conspiracy to commit copyright infringement, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and two substantive counts of copyright infringement.

Dotcom says he is preparing to fight the charges against him before his extradition hearing in August.

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